When a Bengaluru resident decided to take to Twitter and complain about loud music in his neighbourhood, he hoped that the police would take action. However, the response he got from a DCP has left him dumbfounded – and has raised questions about the way in which police officers should or shouldn’t reply to complainants.
On Sunday, irked by the noise of loud music being heard from a pub in Indiranagar, Sultan Singh took to Twitter demanding to know why no action was taken against the establishment for flouting sound pollution rules.
In his tweet, he pointed out a Supreme Court order which dictates that no loud music can be played after 10 pm, and said that complaining about the same to the police helpline did not yield any result.
It's past midnight & still loud music of the DJ + screaming noise continues from TipsyBull pub #2008,100ft rd, Indiranagar, despite complaining on 100.Why are the SC orders on noise pollution not being implemented? @BlrCityPolice @DrParameshwara @CPBlr @icindngr @Jbnagarbcp— Sultan Singh (@sultansinghblr) July 14, 2018
But the Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Ajay Hilori wasn’t in a mood to be a serious officer in that moment. Instead, he decided to reply like a basic troll, residents said.
“I would like to invite you to my office. Plz come and show me that order. I would really like to go through that order line by line, word by word, ‘along with you’,” Ajay Hilori replied, at 1.43am.
I would like to invite you to my office. Plz come and show me that order.— AJAY HILORI, IPS (@DCPEASTBCP) July 14, 2018
I would really like to go through that order line by line, word by word, "along with you".
What did he mean exactly? Does the police officer believe that the Supreme Court order does not cover pubs playing loud music at night? Or was he trying to be funny – a joke that only he understands?
The DCP’s tweet was met with angry replies from citizens.
Sir, Please give us residents a time and we shall be happy to meet you and show you the SC order and also the KSPCB rules.— Sultan Singh (@sultansinghblr) July 15, 2018
In its July 2005 order, the Supreme Court stated the following with regards to loudspeakers —
“No one shall beat a drum or tom-tom or blow a trumpet or beat or sound any instrument or use any sound amplifier at night (between 10.00 p.m. and 6.a.m.) except in public emergencies.”
The apex court had then also stated: “The State must play an active role in this process. Resident Welfare Associations, service Clubs and Societies engaged in preventing noise pollution as a part of their projects need to be encouraged and actively involved by the local administration.”
“Numerous court orders and Pollution Control Board Guidelines make it very clear that after 10 pm there cannot be any loud music,” said Rajesh Dangi, an Indiranagar resident.
“And yet, the police are asking us what is the law and where is the order. For a DCP-level officer, is it fair to ask that on social media to the people who are already aggravated?” he asked.
“We are more than willing to meet him. But we have not got to meet him for the last two years despite trying multiple times,” Rajesh added.
The DCP’s reply comes at a time the city police is booking pubs and such establishments for playing any form of music without a specific license.
In fact, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar had told TNM that all establishments without an Occupancy Certificate (OC) from the BBMP and a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Fire Safety department) cannot play any form of music.
Speaking to TNM, T Suneel Kumar, the Commissioner of Police confirmed the move and said, “We have given them sufficient notice period and had asked them to comply with the licensing requirements. Now, we have issued an order to close music in pubs that haven’t complied with the notice.”
This came after the Supreme Court upheld a 2005 law in January 2018, which mandated a special license by the Commissioner of Police is required to play music for public entertainment. And the police sought these documents as part of the licensing procedure.